CFP: Industrious Nations: Reconsidering Nationality and Economy in the Soviet Union [Extended Deadline]

Jonathan Raspe's picture
Call for Papers
May 31, 2022
New Jersey, United States
Subject Fields: 
Russian or Soviet History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Nationalism History / Studies, Economic History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies

Workshop in Princeton, New Jersey
October 28-29, 2022

Extended Deadline: May 31, 2022

Co-sponsored by Princeton University’s Department of History and Columbia University’s Harriman Institute

Russia’s attack on Ukraine illustrates the continued importance of understanding the historical formation of national narratives in post-Soviet spaces. Marking the centennial of the Soviet Union’s founding in 1922, this two-day workshop will explore the relationship between national identity and the economy in the Soviet Union. Although the pursuit of economic equality among all national groups was an explicit goal of Soviet economic policy, the interplay of nationality and economic issues has received little scholarly attention. Historians writing on nationality in the Soviet Union have long focused on the politics of language and culture. At the same time, scholars researching the Soviet economy have often tacitly assumed a uniform, technocratic, de-nationalized society, revealing an imagined binary of Soviet vs. national. In a similar vein, studies of the Soviet working class have long centered on ethnic Russians, paying little attention to other national groups.

This workshop attempts to bridge this analytical gap by bringing together a group of scholars whose work engages with both fields. We welcome contributions that are based on original research and address issues such as the following questions:

  • How were local particularities translated into economic agendas and planning in the Soviet Union?
  • How did the federal structure of the Soviet Union shape the functioning and performance of the command economy?
  • What role did national considerations play in economic arguments?
  • How did industrialization, urbanization, and economic transformation more broadly Sovietize – or fail to Sovietize – non-Russian populations? 
  • In what ways did local economic production inform national narratives and identities?
  • How did relations of production contribute to the emergence of national interest groups?
  • How did labor migration change the composition of local communities and the perception of nationality?

Abstracts of up to 300 words should be submitted along with a CV to by May 31, 2022. Decisions will be sent out by mid-June. Participants are requested to submit papers of approximately 6,000 words (excl. footnotes) by October 7. These submissions will be circulated among confirmed attendees and will form the basis of discussion. Professor Artemy Kalinovsky will address the workshop in a keynote lecture. In addition, a roundtable discussion will respond to the panels and conclude the workshop.

Expenses for travel, accommodation, and meals will be covered. For more information, please contact Sohee Ryuk (, Sam Coggeshall (, or Jonathan Raspe (

Contact Info: 

Sohee Ryuk (, Sam Coggeshall (, Jonathan Raspe (

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